Russia and India are holding talks on comprehensive modernization of the Su-30MKI fighter jets, Konstantin Biryulin, head of the Russian delegation, said at the 51st International Paris Air and Space Show. Russia is also pitching to supply Su-35 aircraft to Indonesia, but will not manufacture engines for fighters in China.
Russia and India are discussing comprehensive modernization of the Su-30MKI fighters, Konstantin Biryulin, head of the Russian delegation, said at the 51st International Paris Air and Space Show.
Responding to a question from TASS about modernization of the Indian Su-30 MKI fleet of fighters, Biryulin, the Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, said, “together with our Indian partners, we are now holding talks on the comprehensive modernization of the Su-30MKI aircraft, which were delivered about 20 years ago”.
“The modernization package would include on-board communications and data transfer systems, as well as radar equipment of the Su-30MKI fighter jets. All of these systems will be modernized,” he said.
According to Biryulin, Russia and India are preparing contracts for joint programmes involving development work on a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) and a military transport multi-purpose aircraft (MTA).
“The preliminary technical design stages for these aircraft have already been completed,” said Mr. Biryulin. “At present, negotiations are under way to conclude final contracts on research and development work for the creation of these aircraft,” the Russian delegation head said.
Biryulin also stated that Russia had submitted tender documents to supply Su-35 aircraft to Indonesia.
“The necessary documentation to participate in the Su-35 tender was submitted in accordance with the procedure established by our Indonesian partners,” he said.
According to Biryulin, the Russian company Rosoboronexport OJSC is participating in the competition to supply new fighter jets to Indonesia.
“During preliminary negotiations, the parties agreed that the most appropriate fighter jet for the country is the Su-35. These aircraft are currently being flown by the Russian Air Force, and have racked up a good track record. In addition, the Indonesian Air Force already has experience in operating Sukhoi aircraft,” Biryulin noted.
Russia not considering assembly of aircraft engines in China
Russia is not considering licensing the production of aviation engines for military aircraft in China, Biryulin stated.
“Issues related to licensed production of Russian military aircraft engines in China, were not discussed,” he said, answering a question from TASS about whether the FSMTC was considering an opportunity to build Russian military engines of the AL-type in China (for Sukhoi fighter jets) or RD-type (for JF-17/FC-1 fighters).
At the same time, he said, Chinese interest in Russian engines remains as strong as ever. “The Chinese side, with a certain periodicity, turns to Russia when it needs to purchase various types of engines, both to ensure the operation of previously supplied Russian-made aircraft, and for the production of its combat aircraft – the JF-17/FC-1 Thunder,” Biryulin said.
Good prospects to sell modern aircraft to Africa
“Countries on the African continent have shown interest in acquiring weapons and military equipment produced in Russia, and in particular, modern aircraft such as the Su-30,” said Biryulin. Among the possible buyers of Russian aircraft, he Russian delegation mentioned Ethiopia, which currently operates Su-27 fighters.
“Ethiopia has also expressed interest in the purchase of Russian military products. The armed forces of this country already operate weapons and military equipment that was manufactured in Russia,” he explained.